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SEP-OCT 2016

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36 selecttraveler.com S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 Beach State Park. e park is also home to Atalaya Castle, the former winter home of philanthropist Archer Huntington and his sculptor wife, Anna. e couple left the park and the adjacent Brookgreen Gardens — sprawling gardens with more than 1,400 sculptures — as their legacy. Within the city, groups can fi nd several upscale shopping communities. Market Common is a traditional favorite, and Barefoot Landing arranges its shops in a natural bird-sanctuary setting. At night, Myrtle Beach comes alive with Vegas-style live performances and concert venues. " e Carolina Opry is consistently one of our top attractions," Chewn- ing said, adding that the shamelessly sentimental Christmas show is a best seller. And no trip to Myrtle Beach is complete without a walk down the beachfront boardwalk and a ride on the iconic SkyWheel, the tallest Fer- ris wheel on the East Coast, with an amazing view over the Atlantic. W W W . V I S I T M Y R T L E B E A C H . C O M DESTIN, FLORIDA Bordering the Gulf of Mexico in northwest Florida, Destin is famous for its sugar-white sands, emerald waters and laid-back personality. Be- cause Destin originated as a small fi shing village, the harbor is still the heart of the community, and anglers from around the world fl ock to the Emerald Coast to try their luck. "We have the largest charter fi shing fl eet in the state of Florida, and there are so many species just outside our harbor," said Sherry Rushing of the Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. " at's why we call Destin the luckiest fi shing village in the world." Any size group can charter fi shing trips for any length of time, day or night, and head out to the sea for red snapper, king mackerel, grouper, shark and bonito, or troll within Choctawhatchee Bay for an abundance of fresh and saltwater species, including Florida's famed pompano. To make the experience more fun, more than 30 restaurants along the Emerald Coast will prepare any catch the same day and serve it with sides. Several adventure companies operate out of Destin Harbor and off er unusual experiences like fl yboarding and Snuba, along with several usual off erings such as jet skiing, paddleboarding, kayaking, parasailing and dolphin cruises. For a small town, Destin also has a surprising number of specialty boutiques and upscale chains, as well as a popular outlet mall. A few miles from the bustling harbor is Henderson Beach State Park, which includes more than a mile of pristine beach and a nature preserve with dunes, pine and oak trees, and an abundance of coastal wildlife. Park rangers off er group tours that Rushing calls a Destin must. "Seeing this area in its natural state is something you absolutely can't miss," she said. W W W . E M E R A L D C O A S T F L . C O M SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA Blessed with near-perfect weather, Santa Barbara is tucked between a steep mountain range and the Pacifi c Ocean. e Spanish Colonial city with stucco buildings and red-tile roofs sits 92 miles north of Los Ange- les and spans several miles of pristine California coastline. ough Santa Barbara has abundant beaches, East Beach is a favorite with visitors; the wide strip of white sand off ers breathtaking views of the off shore Channel Islands. Western-facing Butterfl y Beach is where locals and several celebrities watch the sun set over the Pacifi c. "What makes us unique is that we're a coastal destination with a mountain range near it, reminiscent of the Mediterranean," said Mi- chelle Carlen of Visit Santa Barbara. Downtown shopping in Santa Barbara By Jay Sinclair, courtesy Visit Santa Barbara

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